Scottish parties promise action on equality after report by Meryl Kenny and Fiona Mackay on women council candidates. Read their response on the new gender politics @ edinburgh blog.

Gender Politics at Edinburgh

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Dr. Meryl Kenny (UNSW) and Dr. Fiona Mackay (University of Edinburgh)

Political parties have been quick to promise action after ‘sobering figures’ about the continued ‘male, pale and stale’ face of Scottish politics. Dr. Meryl Kenny and Dr. Fiona Mackay reported that less than 1:4 candidates in the forthcoming local government elections are women, 1:7 contests are male-only, and all the major political parties are fielding less than 30% female candidates.

As leading Labour local politician Rhondda Geekie said:

‘These figures are a stark reminder of the scale of the challenge that Scotland faces. Local councils have to look like the communities they serve, or else they risk not serving those communities properly.’[1]

Our original report has provoked media debate on the lack of progress made by political parties to date on women’s representation. As we highlighted, thirteen years after devolution heralded a ‘new dawn’ in women’s representation –…

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Meryl Kenny and Fiona Mackay have completed an analysis of the candidate numbers for the upcoming Scottish local government elections. Less than 1:4 candidates are female; 1:7 contests are male-only; all the major parties are fielding less than 30% female candidates. They argue that the time has come for tough action on women’s representation – or nothing will change anytime soon. See the full information on the new gender politics @ edinburgh blog: http://www.genderpoliticsatedinburgh.wordpress.com

Gender Politics at Edinburgh

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By Dr. Meryl Kenny (UNSW) and Dr. Fiona Mackay (Edinburgh)

Thirteen years after devolution heralded a ‘new dawn’ in women’s representation – with Nordic levels of women MSPs elected to the first Scottish Parliament – the story remains very different at local government level. Less than 1 in 4 candidates for next month’s local government elections are women, leaving the face of local politics looking decidedly ‘male, pale, and stale’[1]. 1 in 7 council wards is contested by men only. Whilst all-women shortlists have attracted controversy both North and South of the border, the continuation of these all-male shortlists and contests largely goes unnoticed. With local government in crisis around perceived problems of legitimacy, representativeness and quality, this raises questions as to the lessons learned, future prospects, and actions needed if there is to be any real progress on women’s representation in Scotland. We argue that the time has…

View original post 1,850 more words